RMT London Calling Newsletter November 2012
By John Reid, London transport Regional Council Secretary
Workers United Against Racism
The London Olympics was a resounding success thanks to the role of different sections of workers who delivered the Games.
London Underground staff worked around the clock to provide an excellent service for the million extra passengers a day. People from all over the world, able bodied and disabled, expressed their delight that stations were staffed by knowledgeable staff. Behind the scenes our engineers and service controllers kept the service running like clockwork while our drivers delivered passengers swiftly and safely to their destinations.
Rumours abound that many of these hard working staff will see their jobs go now the Olympics are over. Job cuts have already been raised amongst signalling engineers while testing is imminent on driverless trains. Where there was once well trained knowledgeable staff, there will be empty stations. LU is also looking to replace engineers with electronic monitoring of track and trains. The company insists safety will be safeguarded yet already we are seeing incidents where changes to de-training procedures are allowing passengers to be put in danger.
"London Underground staff worked around the clock to provide an excellent service for the million extra passengers a day. People from all over the world, able bodied and disabled, expressed their delight that stations were staffed by knowledgeable staff" - John Reid LTRC Secretary
Our response to these threats must not be to get demoralised or resigned to cuts but to get organised and fight back. It will not be easy to resist LU’s plans. After all, they want to divert money from public transport to make sure the bankers still get their million pound bonuses.
But we will fight every job loss, every change in annual leave or job description. We will defend the position of every station being fully staffed by fully trained, Supervisors, SAMFs and CSAs. We will insist that drivers remain in the front of every train and that a full complement of Engineers, office staff, service control members remain in the job.We will work with passengers and other rail unions to defend every job. We will be producing a charter on a strategy to defend jobs and services over the next few weeks, and will hold rallies across the Branches early in the New Year to discuss our fightback with members.
Over 100,000 people marched against cuts last week and we will fight for the trade union movement to link up and resist austerity. RMT is already leading calls for a general strike in Britain and the LTRC will do whatever we can to build support for this campaign.
Please put your views and comments to me as soon as possible
Workers United Against Racism
Dear Comrade,The racist EDL is threatening to march through the streets of Walthamstow on Saturday the 27th October. They were stopped in September and we vow to stop them again in October and whenever they rear their ugly heads.The EDL claims to be nonracist and nonfascist, yet their numbers are made up of many of the same people who have previously been in the ranks of fascist and racist organisations.
Their anti-Islam bile is reminiscent of the anti Jewish rantings of the Nazis in the 1930's. At Kings Cross, in September, they were singing anti-Irish songs as well as distributing anti-Islam leaflets. The EDL are an anti-trade union organisation and has threatened trade union meetings. The EDL has attacked trade unionists campaigning against government cuts and their whole philosophy is against the organised working class.
The London Transport Regional Council will organise discussions in our branches on the dangers of racism and fascism, which is used to divide our class.
The policies of the three major political parties have fuelled the growth of the far right. Policies of deindustrialisation, cutbacks in services; the rundown of cheap available social housing and the huge levels of youth and long-term unemployment have alienated many working people and allowed racist organisations to peddle their ideas of division and bigotry.
The RMT stands for a socialist solution to the problems of capitalism. This will be achieved by unity in action of black, white and Asian workers, regardless of ethnic background or religious belief. Those responsible for unemployment, housing shortages and cuts in public services are the bankers and the super rich who make vast profits while our people, the working class, languish on the dole, live in poor housing and are denied basic social services.
We will not let the EDL or any organisation divide our class. We will combat them and build unity of working people to defeat racism. We will link with trade union and anti-racist organisations to build a trade union and political alternative to the far-right and also to the cutbacks of the main political parties.
In the run up to October 27th we will visit stations and discuss with reps and rank and file members how best to stop the EDL using our stations and putting our members and passengers at risk.
Our opposition to the EDL will continue after 27 October and discussions will be organised throughout the region to involve branches and RMT members in the building of our anti racist campaign.
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